The Hapless Househusband Finds A Quiet Moment

Never Enough Time...

It blows me away how being at home eats away at every available second. I believe I may need to report a serious case of theft, let me explain…

In my case, She-who-is-adored leaves for work just before eight a.m. She normally comes home somewhere between six and seven in the evening. That means there are ten full hours in which to accomplish a great deal, right?

Turns out, not so much.

When I was a working stiff, I was on at 7:30, and could, on a very good day, escape by four. Lunch was a rarity, so I was pretty much running in place for eight or nine hours. Those hours were chock full of busy, and never seemed enough, but looking back, a great deal was achieved. Parent meetings, Staff meetings, time with the students and teaching were interlaced with responding to emails, in the region of 200-250 per day, 90% of it forwarded by people playing "not me". I even did some critical reading, some planning and at least once a week, a reworking and rearranging of schedules. Discipline issues and various mini-crises had me running about like a loon, but looking at my daily schedule, much was achieved.

So, once at home, I'd be bored.

Well...

I dream of being bored...

After quickly tidying up, dishwasher, beds made, etc.

It is nine.

Check job sites and applications in progress.

It is ten.

Read a few hubs, write a little, respond to emails.

It is eleven.

Have a cup of coffee, eat an early lunch.

It is eleven-thirty.

Start the day's project (Yard/laundry/cleaning/shopping) and it is three o'clock already.

Take a much-needed shower and put on clean clothes, quick check of emails.

It is four.

Walk, planned for noon, is postponed (again) but reward at Starbucks taken anyway.

Quick writing session of about 1,000 words.

It is five.

Go home, prep dinner.

It is six.

First question from my loving wife is, you guessed it, "what did you do today?"

Honestly, I wish I knew...

Did I make those phone calls I'd said I would? No.

Did I check into those web sites like I said I would? No.

Did I write anything new on the novel? No.

Did I do any exercise like I'd promised? No.

Now, to be fair, the laundry is done and put away, the dishes are clean and in the cupboard, the bed is made, and there is food on the table, but big fat giant whoop, right?

Something in my house is eating time.

I think it may have started the last time we messed with all the clocks and fell back or sprung forward. Time does not like to be messed with, and twice a year, that's exactly what we do. It is getting its own back, taking a few minutes from every hour, surreptitiously, so that in fact, what we actually have are billable hours or therapist hours. These are normally 50 minutes long.

Twenty-four of those in a day and you have lost 240 minutes, or FOUR HOURS!

Do the math, actually I did it for you… you lose four (hours a day) times seven (days of the week), which equals twenty-eight hours in a week. That is more than a day! That's why the week rushes by. Time not only stole Wednesday, but also took a chunk of Thursday.

In a year you lose almost sixty days, which is why your vacation never seems long enough. No wonder we look older than we feel, every seven years we lose a whole year! Extrapolating my perfect math, this means that I am not 53, I am in fact, only 45!

Yes, I was a math teacher once upon a time, but seriously, this particular math is causing me some very real grief and making me very irritated…

So who, exactly, do you go and see to get your time back?

I could really use those seven and a half years. I mean, other than a select few people with life sentences, or very bad marriages, who wouldn’t want this extra time? Think about all the stuff you could get done, books you could write, and the books you could read…

The “Honey-do” list could actually become “Honey-done”, restoring hitherto unexpected high levels of domestic harmony and general happiness for both Venus and Mars.

If I am right, and someone has been putting our time into a vault, I have a few questions:

Did it earn interest?

Is it with all the stray socks that disappear from our dryers?

Is there a Time version of Social Security?

I ask, because, if there is, I’d like to cash it in now. I’m not too sure I want it when Old-timers sets in. Sure I plan to sit on my porch (yet to be built) and wave my stick at the “durned neighbor kids”, but I figure, in a couple of weeks I’d get bored with that.

The idea of a mid-life hiatus is very appealing. I don’t mean in a “what do I do now I’ve lost my job” kind of way, like I am experiencing, but given those extra years, how easy would it be to save up for, say, four of those years, and spend it in the remaining three.

Going back to work after a three year break, would be OK as you now know what retirement looks like, and you can manage those last ten or fifteen years knowing how great getting up when you wake up and doing bugger all, can be.

So, let’s make it our mission to find this missing time. And, if you happen to come across a stray sock or two, that would be a great side benefit. Just think how much better your life would be with that extra time. You could eke it out a few hours a day, or take a giant chunk of it at one time.

You can all thank me later…

Dear Hub Reader


If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,

Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,

A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.

Available directly from:

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/homo-domesticus/12217500

Chris


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Comments 31 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I think I was able to get more accomplished when I worked full time outside the house than what I get accomplished now. Time flies but I have yet to figure out where it goes. If you figure it out before I do please let me know.


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

I have a time thief in my house too, so apparently it's an epidemic as you may have already concluded.

I think it's the same little dude that steals my socks.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Susan,

I know, right? I don't think the time thieves are as active in an office, but sadly, that's where the life thieves live (and they're even worse!)

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

Does he have an accent? Does he shoot cats? Can he keep twisters from your door...

And why socks?

The mysteries of the universe, where is Stan when you need him...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I have been missing time lately too. I was wondering where it went to. I seemed to get more done when I had a job. Since I quit my job and moved and got the chance to stay home with the kids and work on my writing... I can't say I have accomplished much. Even the chores are lacking some.

Great hub! ;)


AngelaRizzi profile image

AngelaRizzi 5 years ago

Yes, yes, this is crazy but so true..


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Barbergirl,

We have so got to figure out where all this time has gone. It looks like some sort of epidemic. I know some of it is stored in hubpages, in my case, but this is many hours people!

Let the search begin.

Actually you'll have to start without me, I'm super busy right now...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AngelaRizzi

I checked, I don't have any of yours. Do you perhaps have some of mine?

Check between the couch cusions...

Slippery little devil is time...

C


AngelaRizzi profile image

AngelaRizzi 5 years ago

Yup, slippery little devil.. Nothing but crumbs in the cushions though.. Guess I need to get back to work..


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

He's in cahoots with the thief - I swear I saw him with a random sock while sitting on Uranus!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

There are not socks on Uranus-- not that I have seen Uranus, and I don't think it is the dryer. I strongly suspect the washer. I got a new washing machine today and I am expecting to see a return of many lost socks.

If you think time is slipping away now by minutes and hours-- wait until you actually retire. Whole days and weeks disappear.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Angela,

Thanks for looking anyway. It is probably in the last place you will look for it...

It would appear that during my absence, all the jobs have gone into hiding, so good luck with that,

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

You promised you wouldn't peek. I now suffer from shy butt...


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Rochelle,

I was afraid of that, thus my mid life mini retirement idea, get some practice in before the real thing...

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

All the missing socks were eaten by the Time Thief.

In the book, Catch-22, there is a character that cultivates boredom. He says that is the best way to make your life last forever. I'm sure he's right. So from now on, you must only do boring things. If anything interesting comes up you must squash it immediately!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Well apparently there is someone stealing time around the entire world! And I think it's Stan - he's taken our time and run off with it!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Austinstar,

Truly, I long for boredom.

Just a taste mind you...

But I'm one of lifes enthusiasts, pretty much resigned to the fact that there will never be enough time...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Real,

I am totally OK with blaming Stan.

(Didn't he used to be a humor writer?)

We really need to stop messing around with the daylight savings thing. I believe that is the primary cause of all our ills...

If it's good enough for Hawaii...


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yup that's what's up dirty. He used to be a humor sometimes serious writer but he has escaped through a worm hole or perhaps a time warp?

I'm against day light stupid plan because isnt life confusing enough already? Throw changing the time in there a couple times a year -? Yeah it helps all the farmers??? How?


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Real,

For those that care...get up an hour earlier if you want to! It is pointless beyond belief - pick a time and commit already...

C


tsmog profile image

tsmog 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

Funny , , ,I just checked that little clock at the bottom right corner of my monitor , , ,yup, got to get ready for work and I just poured a cup of coffee, now cold , , ,what is up with that! And, I still haven't filled the bird baths, got to go , , ,rush, rush, rush , , ,I'm following you ChrisLincoln, looking for that illusive moment I lost to what who knows , , ,BUT, you have made me aware and I thank you for that (smile).


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

fIf it's any comfort, it doesn't improve when you're get old-timers. It gets worse. It just all looks different. You begin to wish the dryer would steal more "stuff". You almost wish you could wash and dry the knick-knacks so some of them would just get lost. You try giving them to charities, only to find that they've spawned a family of more of 'em in the back of the cabinet before they were ousted.

You put clocks in every room, though. Otherwise, the time all runs away together. You feel you've accomplished a lot if you've done one tiresome chore that day. In your journal you write, as though it were earth-shattering news, "I washed my hair today!" or "I mailed the request for a mail-in ballot." or "David cut the grass" (the chores don't even have to be self-perpetrated!)

Seriously, though - there is still not enough time to do all the things you really want to do. Boredom is not a problem. Time is!


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I haven't got time to comment. Oh all right then. What about getting a job buying and selling on the net? You could start with odd socks and build up to pairs. Used socks! No one has thought of that. Or clocks with ten and three sixteenths hour cycles. (I skipped maths at school) There must be something you can flog on the net. Ha Ha Humour, nah tried that and it doesn't pay a sheckle. Must clock off. Cheers mate.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Tsmog,

I think that computers play an important part in the thievery. I haven't the time to check this, but is the computer clock running at "real" time, or in the fifty minute hour mode? I too, have witnessed time being stolen from right under my nose while visiting the net of inter...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Nellieanna,

I completely refuse to accept that you are older. Your problems stem from your timelessness, in fact you may in fact be a recipient of some of the time being taken from somewhere else. How else do you do the things you do? Create and paint and write and ranch and, the list alone is exhausting...

Your extra clocks are the key. Sure you are busy, but I think you have fooled time somehow, and boy are we ever grateful...


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AttHum,

You missed the obvious...

I should sell "time credits". I just sent you two extra minutes as a sample, if you enjoyed them, you can buy an extra hour at the low low price of just ten dollars a minute. Please send cheques to: there's one born every minute, incorporated.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Aw - thank you, dear Chris! You're so kind! But I haven't fooled Time - I've looked him in the face and saluted, vowed to trust and obey his rules, and to apologize for bad-mouthing him and all his racing minutes. (I'll let you know in a few years if it works!)

:-) Hugs. . .


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

I think I just lost a whole month!! I haven't been able to read a hub in all that time...and I really wonder what I was doing instead!


wychic profile image

wychic 5 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

"She-who-must-be-adored"...I love it! My husband decided to steal from ol' Rumpole and make me "She-who-must-be-obeyed." He may readily tell you that there is something worse than being out of work -- losing your job and ending up at home working for your wife...he's back on the job trail in between managing my writing, cooking and cleaning, or feeding and changing baby ;).


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Feline Prophet,

Just a week or so later, not a whole month...

Very glad you spent some of that precious time reading my stuff, though...

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

wychic,

Technically I am unemployed, but, like your husband, I am married and thus will never be out of work...

I need a new job just as a respite from the relentless and ever expanding honey-do list!!!

And I do adore her - apologies to Mr. Mortimer and all...

C

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